Why doesn’t Legislature ask teachers what they think of AP U.S. History or anything else?

In seeking changes to the AP U.S. History course, the Georgia Legislature argues the AP framework doesn’t align with what Georgia has deemed important for students to know about our nation’s history, including the founding fathers and their principles.

Indeed, Senate Resolution 80 urges revisions to APUSH, stating the course  should “incorporate the Georgia Performance Standards’ emphasis on America’s founding principles and the uniqueness of America’s role in the world.”

061812downeyedA north Fulton history teacher and department chair delved into that claim. Chad Hoge is social studies department chair at Centennial High School in Roswell, one of the state’s highest performing high schools. He teaches AP World History & AP U.S. History.

Hoge examined what Georgia lawmakers allege is lacking in AP U.S. History and found there’s more of what they consider essential in the AP framework than the Georgia standards.

I would like to thank Hoge and the other history teachers who have contacted me to share their concerns about SR 80.

In 20 years of covering the General Assembly, I don’t understand why lawmakers seldom consult teachers on education initiatives.  There are thousands of teachers in Georgia.

Let’s start listening to them.

By Chad Hoge

I teach AP U.S. History at Centennial High in Roswell and I would like to share my perspective on the class, the framework and Senate Resolution 80.

According to SR 80, the AP U.S. History Framework “differs radically from the Georgia Performance Standards” and APUSH “themes and concepts will be taught to the detriment of the state mandated Georgia Performance Standards.”

I would like to provide evidence to the contrary. In fact, I can show not only are the accusations made by SR 80 unfounded, but the AP U.S. History Framework actually requires a more comprehensive look at much of the material SR 80 claims is omitted or minimized.

Let’s start with the Declaration of Independence and the religious influence on our nation’s history. The Declaration of Independence is mentioned twice by name and the principles are referenced two additional times in the AP Framework, whereas the Declaration only appears in the Georgia Performance Standards once. Religion is addressed in the Georgia Performance Standards three times, while it is addressed in the AP Framework 31 times.

Clearly, students taking AP U.S. History will learn more about these topics than students in a traditional, on level class. While SR 80 claims the founding fathers are minimized, in reality they are addressed more than 15 times, while only appearing in the GPS 13 times.

In this case, I understand the confusion because few of the founders are mentioned by name. However, if you take a look at this document, you will see that any competent U.S. history teacher will understand where they must be discussed.

The accusation the framework is overly negative is likewise unfounded. I asked a few of my students to color code the first four units in the framework, underlining material they felt reflected positively on America in green and material that reflected negatively in red.

The results — click here to see them — were decidedly balanced with a bit more green than red. Clearly, my students’ impression differs from that of the state senators.

While the framework certainly includes negative aspects of our history it also includes items like the following:

“2.3 II C. Resistance to imperial control in the British colonies drew on colonial experiences of self-government, evolving local ideas of liberty, the political thought of the Enlightenment, greater religious independence and diversity, and an ideology critical of perceived corruption in the imperial system.”

“3.1 II C. Despite considerable loyalist opposition, as well as Great Britain’s apparently overwhelming military and financial advantages, the patriot cause succeeded because of the colonists’ greater familiarity with the land, their resilient military and political leadership, their ideological commitment, and their support from European allies.”

“3.2 I A. Protestant evangelical religious fervor strengthened many British colonists’ understandings of themselves as a chosen people blessed with liberty, while Enlightenment philosophers and ideas inspired many American political thinkers to emphasize individual talent over hereditary privilege.”

“4.1: The United States developed the world’s first modern mass democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and to reform its institutions to match them.”

 

 

Reader Comments 0

78 comments
Common Sense Committee
Common Sense Committee

There's a simple answer to the question in the title of this article: to ask is to imply that you care.  Our legislator doesn't, so why would they perform such a meaningless act?

BCW1
BCW1

And politicians know what history should be taught? Talk about narcissists!!!

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

Why in the world would teachers have the right to determine what history is taught?  Do they run the govt now?  Too funny....if it wasn't so pitiful.  What a bunch of narcissists.

newsphile
newsphile

@dcdcdc  You can't honestly believe the legislature is an authority on history.  They haven't consulted with history scholars or anyone who is knowledgeable about the subject.  Unfortunately, they are more interested in throwing millions of tax dollars to some friends to create a GA-grown course and test that will not be recognized by any accredited colleges and universities.  One could almost believe they are intent on taking GA's schools to an all-time low.  That gives good reason to take over school districts. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

What Maureen and the teachers' union bosses fear most are empowered parents.

Letusteach
Letusteach

@EdUktr Once again, Georgia is a right-to-work state.  No unions.  Not even for teachers.

DontTaseMeBro
DontTaseMeBro

@EdUktr


What Georgia's empowered politicians fear most are future voters being taught to think for themselves. 

honested
honested

@EdUktr 

What is the name of this all powerful, overarching 'union'?

The only 'bosses' who interfere with education would be the majority party in the Legislature.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Better yet. Have all legislators take all EOCT's  and AP tests and publish non identifying results. See if Legislature is a "passing" or "failing legislature".

stonepony
stonepony

@Antagonist @AvgGeorgian It's called ALEC.  ALEC is targeting state legislatures to dismantle public education.  that's why these legislators are after education.  Check out which legislators belong to ALEC.  Fran Millar, for one . . .head of the Education committee (or formerly, can't remember how long ago)

Antagonist
Antagonist

@AvgGeorgian  I have often wondered what has prompted so many vote destroy the very education these legislators had which made them obviously successful themselves. What is their problem?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Suggestion - Have Mr. Ligon take the AP History test and post his score. He can then share his experience and how he felt about the test.

honested
honested

Why don't legislators ask AP History Teachers?

Because they already know the warped interpretation they want infused into Georgia's brightest children and they don't want anyone tampering with it!

Antagonist
Antagonist

@honested  AP History does not teach a tunnel vision of history. It promotes thinking "out of the box." This usually does not appeal to the right-wing educators.

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

Of course it would take the input of a history teacher to easily poke holes in Ligon's empty critique of APUSH.  Thank you Chad for doing this.   It's now time to move on to the critical education issues affecting Georgia's children.

popcornular
popcornular

Any parent knows, after a certain amount of whine time, the tantrum must be ignored to protect one's sanity. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popcornular @OriginalProf 

Actually, Wikipedia is the quickest way to find something as trivial as where "the Boy who Cried Wolf" comes from. (Aesop's Fables.) As the Harvard Guide to Using Sources states: " There's nothing more convenient than Wikipedia if you're looking for some quick information, and when the stakes are low [like a blog entry]....In fact, some instructors may advise their students to read entries for scientific concepts on Wikipedia as a way to begin understanding those concepts."

http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=K70847&pageid=icb.page346376

I'd never use it for research or allow a student to use it for class papers. But it has its uses.

DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

This resolution changes nothing. It is empty rhetoric with a populist bent pandering to the base. It sounds good, allows the legislators and Superintendent to wrap themselves in a flag and reinforces what most of their constituencies are told by radio commentators and irresponsible blog sites on a daily basis. Ultimately the colleges and universities are each deciding how much credit they will extend for performance on a mutually agreed upon test. The test needs to reflect a college level history course which would generally assume a student has already heard about George Washington and MLK's dream ad nauseam.  The Superintendent has claimed that Georgia's courses and tests will make up for APUSH "shortcomings" when obviously the opposite is true.  The resolution does nothing to change what the colleges and universities find acceptable, nor should it.  It only serves to further appearances to the rest of the nation that make education in Georgia in general and Richard Woods in particular near the bottom of the barrel.

teacherandmom
teacherandmom

Suggestion for Mr. Ligon:  Find an AP teacher with strong scores.  Set up a camera and watch their classroom.  Have the teacher share his/her lesson plans, projects, and assessments.  Do this Every. Single. Day throughout the entire course.


At the end of the semester/school year come to the table and discuss what you observed with fellow educators.  Then...and only then...should you form your opinion about what is/isn't taught in AP History.


I posted the following question on a previous blog entry...I hope someone out there can answer it for me.


"Are there any other states looking to legislate the changes Mr. Ligon proposes?"  

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

How many Georgia legislators, from either side, are qualified to to author a textbook? My bet is that 90 percent of them couldn't correctly edit the text for grammatical errors - I know the Secretary of State could not. This is what happens when you broadly paint and demonize intellectuals with a word.

The truth is, if you study history, you'll find in all the major coups (violent and not) of the 20th century history, intellectuals and teachers were the first culled.

straker
straker

"why doesn't Legislature ask teachers"


Because their number is very small compared to the gullible Republican electorate.

ssinf
ssinf

@straker


This comment would be hilarious....if it weren't true.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

One other thing.  Chad will probably catch h3ll for using his students' time to do the color coding.


And our legislators don't want to see any evidence that varies from what they have been told.

HallcoTeacher
HallcoTeacher

This is just one more example of a fundamental problem in education reform. Career teachers are the point of contact between our vast educational system and the individual student. Yet our expertise and opinions are rarely sought and routinely ignored.


No doubt, many decision makers and reformers were classroom teachers for some period of time and they believe, therefore, that they know and represent the opinions of career teachers. 


They do not. 


There are fundamental differences between career teachers and former teachers. Former teachers found their path outside of classroom, away from the day to day contact with children. They fancy themselves educators and, no doubt, are an important part of the system. But it is the career teachers who do the heavy lifting. Career teachers are the ones who actually take the latest educational theories, the bureaucratic hoops, the conflicting demands of all the various stakeholders and then, moment to moment, day to day, year to year, teach children.


I’m not claiming any moral high ground for career teachers. Any system as large and vital to our democracy as public education requires principals and superintendents, various administrators at central office, researchers, and yes, even government bureaucrats. But these former teachers’ career choices prove that they were not able to sustain moment to moment, day to day, year to year contact with students. It is the career teacher who must take everything that is demanded of her and make it practical.


But since we reward people who leave the classroom with higher pay and higher status, the assumption is that those who remain are lesser mortals. I heard an education professor say that if you are still in the classroom after eight years, something is wrong with you.


To be fair, some teachers do not always have a global vision that takes into account all the complexities that go into decision making. They are outstanding in their work precisely because their focus is within the four walls of their classroom. And sometimes overworked teachers allow their passion to be transformed into counterproductive flame throwing. There are teachers who have made their job sustainable by falling into a torpor where they shuffle from one day to the next. And, yes, some teachers simply have a limited capacity. In short, career teachers run the entire spectrum, just the same as people in any career.


But the best and the brightest of us career teachers have a perspective that is conspicuously absent from educational decision making above the school level. These are people we want teaching our children. We should be actively seeking their expertise on how in the world they can do this job and sustain it year after year. We should do this for two reasons. One is, they know things that former teachers do not. The other is that we need to keep them in the classroom so that we (and their students) can continue to learn from them. The best way to lose high quality people is to ignore them.


Token representation on an occasional committee, by the way, is not meaningful and not sufficient. We need to institutionalize into our decision making processes the meaningful presence of career teachers. By valuing their opinion, not only will we learn from them, we will raise the status of the profession and attract more of the best and brightest to the classroom.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@HallcoTeacher Well said.As I have noted several times, EVERYONE of our legislators and leaders know all there is to know about education--they all went to first grade!

jezel
jezel

Maureen... Do you really think the Ga legislature is interested in education ?

Antagonist
Antagonist

@jezel  NO! They vote to get re-elected. Therefore, they vote on what is the "fad" vote of the year.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Let's face it--Ligon wants students to remain as clueless as he seems to be.  Fits the agenda many of "his kind" espouse.

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

I daresay Senator Ligon knows as much about APUSH as he appeared to know about Common Core last year.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"4.1: The United States developed the world’s first modern mass democracy and celebrated a new national culture, while Americans sought to define the nation’s democratic ideals and to reform its institutions to match them.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


And, America is still a work in progress to become a more perfect union to fulfill this nation's democratic ideals, reforming her institutions (as Jefferson proclaimed) to match America's continually growing consciousness in the fulfillment of those ideals. 


The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were never meant to hold all the answers for individual liberty for all time; they simply delivered to the citizens of this nation the democratic vehicles necessary to adapt to new understandings of what it means to have liberty and freedom, over time.


I am not so sure that Georgia's politicians understand that.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

Thomas Jefferson's words: "Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment. . . .I know. . . that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. . . .As. . . new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. . . .Each generation. . . has. . .a right to choose for itself the form of government it believes most promotive of its own happiness. . . .a solemn opportunity of doing this every nineteen or twenty years should be provided by the constitution."


From Saul Padover's book, "Jefferson": "His (Jefferson’s) conclusion in the matter of laws and institutions was that they were perpetually subject to change for the benefit of humanity. ‘Nothing then,’ he told Major John Cartwright in 1824, ‘is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.’ "



Original Source: "Notices, Letters, etc. Respecting the Library Manuscripts of Thomas Jefferson," typescript, Library of Congress, 1898, vol. 7, page 359

EdUktr
EdUktr

To pretend that teachers somehow are not being heard is disingenuous. And if answers the education establishment provided over the years had brought more solutions—their advice would be actively sought.

It's like parental choice: no one would be demanding choice if the alternative wasn't continued failure to improve test scores.

With regard to the study of American history, parents with school age children see the results firsthand. Asserting that all's right in academe just doesn't fly.

atln8tiv
atln8tiv

@Quidocetdiscit @Astropig @EdUktr Quido, you're wasting your time trying to explain anything to Astropig. Folks like him and EdUktr have their minds made up as to what needs to happen and they only visit these blogs to shoot down the opinions of anyone who doesn't agree with them. They're not part of the solution; they're part of the problem.

taylor48
taylor48

@Astropig @Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr Are you this condescending in real life, or just when you are behind a computer screen?  I get that you think most teachers are moronic mouth-breathers, but your responses to Quido are bordering on downright rude.


And if you've ever been in a classroom, you'd realize that it's not very easy to earn a student's respect.  (Trust me, the average kid is REALLY hard to impress.)

Astropig
Astropig

@EdUktr


@Quido-




 "So several of us who post here and heard his request DID write to him with ideas and advice. We all received basically the same condescending, canned reply."


You didn't get the answer you wanted. The betting here is that the condescension was mutual.


To say that the legislators don't listen to teachers is nonsense.Maybe they don't read this claptrap every day,but anyone is able to write a letter,make a call or just send an email.But they have to listen to ALL constituents and (hard as it is to believe) there are people that have different opinions than you.They have to listen to them too.

Astropig
Astropig

@HollyJones @Astropig @EdUktr


The average voter is swayed by 30 second political ads. Those ads cost BIG money. Change that fact, and the system will change.I don't like it any better than you,but both sides do this (try being a Republican in Massachusetts). That's why I marvel at the sheer ignorance on display here almost daily-You people want things and want to be heard by politicians that you savage each and every day. Why would they listen to you? They can try to be "fair" and address your concerns and have an honest give and take...And you will get behind their left wing,bat-crazy opponent in the next election. They have to represent everyone in their district,not just the eduacracy.


I'll kind of like the system we have,to be honest.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@EdUktr


"To pretend that teachers somehow are not being heard is disingenuous."


Hmm. Let's see.  I recall not too long ago, a member of our esteemed General Assembly asking for teacher input... He claimed he wanted to hear what we had to say.  I was very excited about the opportunity.  Finally, I thought, someone who is actually willing to listen to what TEACHERS have to say about the issue!  So several of us who post here and heard his request DID write to him with ideas and advice. We all received basically the same condescending, canned reply.  I remember posters comparing replies and realizing we all received pretty much the same feedback.  His reply was so scripted that it referred to things that were not even included in my letter, and scolded me for not offering solutions which were quite clearly outlined in my letter.  It was obvious he had never read a word I wrote.  It was insulting.  I spend several hours preparing that letter, and carefully addressed every issue he had raised with thoughtful, experience based solutions (and not, my solutions were not "send us more money" despite the suggestion that such is ALL we every ask for), but his reply made it clear that my ideas were not even worth reading. 


And frankly, I think most parents with students in AP history are quite happy with the coursework - at least the ones I have spoken to.  This legislation does not seem to be coming from concerned "parents" but from groups with other agendas involving controlling curriculum and thus controlling the public.

HollyJones
HollyJones

@Astropig @EdUktr The issue is- and this doesn't just apply to education issues- that our elected officials do seem to be listening to anyone except those who contribute big bucks to their campaigns- and those folks by and large aren't even constituents, but corporations and lobbyist groups.   I have written both my representative and my senator about various issues and haven't even received a form letter ( or email) reply, much less one that might indicate that they had actually read what I wrote. 

thenoticer
thenoticer

@AvgGeorgian There are not enough successful schools among which we can distribute the poorly performing students. We are long past that tipping point. We'd best get to the root of the problem (cultural issues) if we are ever going to make any progress.

newsphile
newsphile

@EdUktr The loudest voices screaming for choice are those who stand to gain financially.

redweather
redweather

@Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr  The tactic of demanding solutions from critics, even when the solutions are implicit in the criticism, is not a new one.  It's used all the time and not only in politics.  When people don't like the criticism, they seek to discredit their critics.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Hi EdU. Is it possible that we have kids that have academic deficiencies that are grouped by neighborhood? This would make the neighborhood school look like a failing school. If we sent those kids to the 

Gwinnett  School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (#1 school in the state), would the school turn them around or would GSMST become a failing school? Would the kids from GSMST have failing scores if they were moved to a previously "failing school".

Here's an idea (and I have seen this happen on a small scale) - take all kids that are performing poorly and disperse them among schools that are high scoring. Do this correctly and every school in GA will be a successful school. Then we would have no need of school reform.

What do you think? 

EdUktr
EdUktr

@AvgGeorgian

I think if we ceased paying girls to have babies out of wedlock, and likewise stopped trashing traditional values ... we'd be in need of fewer "solutions."



Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @EdUktr


Astro,


It wasn't that he did not agree with my comments.  I expected that.  It was that he obviously did not even READ my comments!   Imagine if I gave a spelling test, collected my students papers, then read the first one, marked the missed words and used that paper to mark the same answers wrong on every paper, telling my students to restudy those words, even the ones that actually spelled other words incorrectly, or all the words correctly!  THAT is akin to what happened.  If he didn't actually want input from teachers, why come here and ask for it?  Oh, I know, so he could say he received "input" form teachers when making his decisions.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @HollyJones @EdUktr


There you go again Astro, accusing others of acting in ways that you are not privy too in  any way.   I would have a great deal of respect for any politician who addressed my concerns with "honest give and take" and no, I do not support " left wing, bat crazy" candidates.  I do not support ANY ""bat crazy" candidates - which can lead to a small pool of potentials in some states. 

Falcaints
Falcaints

@EdUktr As a "former" teacher you know full well that outside of a few administrative pets, teachers are ignored.  I really don't care what new theory is unleashed, I will not change what I know works.  Most students want to learn and it is the interaction between student and teachers that matters above all else. Any good teacher gives all sides of an idea and lets their students decide which side they fall on.  Thank goodness you are a former teacher, we don't miss you.

Astropig
Astropig

@Quidocetdiscit @Astropig @HollyJones @EdUktr


" I do not support ANY ""bat crazy" candidates - which can lead to a small pool of potentials in some states. "


The insane don't always know that they're insane.Just a thought.


If you expressed yourself to your state rep or senator that way you express yourself here with all of the bitter,arrogant self importance...Well, I'm sure your letter is in the "chuckles file". They keep those and read them at the Christmas party. 

Astropig
Astropig

@Quidocetdiscit @Astropig @EdUktr


"If he didn't actually want input from teachers, why come here and ask for it?  Oh, I know, so he could say he received "input" form teachers when making his decisions."


I ordinarily don't do this, but I'll make an exception this once.


There is a candidate fixin' to run for president. She's a Democrat.She has been on many "listening tours" in her storied career. She never once "listens" to anyone except people she agrees with.So you can take your righteous indignation and...Go vote for somebody else.I don't think that its a bad bet that you're itching to vote for this (dead broke) 1%er,right? Right?


 I don't blame these reps for not wasting everybody's time by pretending to listen while you hypocrites pretend to make constructive suggestions.When you can do something other than call them "extreme" or "corrupt" or whatever, they might listen to what you have to say.These guys and gals have to run for office every two or four years and they get the sink thrown at them by your attack dogs.Then the day after the election,we read in this space how they're "not listening" to you.You haven't said anything worth hearing.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@EdUktr @AvgGeorgian I am seeking to understand why people believe we have failing public education. It seems to be a mantra. I genuinely seek common ground with posters and am not wed to ideology. I find when I have one on one conversations with politically interested folk, agreeing on available supporting data may not make us agrre on how to solve problems, but it does help us agree on the problem. I am afraid that many people have accepted a slogan without questioning the reason behind it.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@EdUktr @AvgGeorgian Ed - I haven't researched the link between out of wedlock births and its effect on education. If that is the cause of poor academic performance, then is public education the reason for it? If payments to unwed mothers is the problem with public schools, are those payments coming from public schools? It seems you are condneming public schools for what you see as a separate problem.(out of wedlock births)

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @Quidocetdiscit @HollyJones @EdUktr


Astro,


You love saying that I am "bitter, arrogant and self important" and that I frequently insult other posters, and yet, time after time, when I have asked for specific examples of when I have posted those negative attacks you accuse me of, you have never responded.  Time to put up or pipe down, me thinks.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr


I had never said ANYTHING about this particular politician.  I had never attacked him or called him anything negative.  In fact, I was very pleased when he asked for teacher input.  I assumed he genuinely wanted to hear from us.  There was nothing "pretend" about my suggestions.  They were genuinely offered in the spirit of improving education and some of them even echoed the representative's own ideas!  


I don't "pretend" to make constructive suggestions.  This is no game to me!  Maybe it is all a game to you, but my students and the future of education are damn important to me.  Have devoted my life to this...  and doing what is best for my students and seeking the best for their future is a heck of a lot more important than any petty political bickering or posturing.  


I have said this before  some of us are not limited by patrician squabbling or the *need* to try and win some kind of points on this blog.  We are here because we WANT to find ways to  help do what is best for our students!   


As to whether I have said anything worth hearing, I will leave that to the readers of this blog.  I seem to get enough "likes" to suggest someone is appreciating what I have to say, even if you do not.



Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr


P.S. I will vote for whomever I determine is the candidate running who best represents my beliefs and interests.  Sometimes that means a Democrat. Sometimes that means an Independent.  Sometimes that means a Republican. Sometimes it means the best of a field of candidates, none of whom I fully support.  But who I vote for should not have ANY bearing on how any other political conducts themselves. And it has no bearing on this topic.  Politicians are elected to represent ALL of us... and it is about time they ALL remember that. 

Astropig
Astropig

@Quidocetdiscit @Astropig @EdUktr


I appreciate what you say, I just believe that it is high partisanship with a healthy dose of entitlement (with the occasional side order of hypocrisy). You may be used to impressionable students kissing your ring, but the real world outside your classroom is a far different place than the construct therein.


Regardless, this is not a game to me either. I would love it if everybody agreed with the reform agenda currently on offer from our governor and legislature.But they don't, so we have to fight and win for what we think is best for everybody- students,parents and teachers- in about that order.. If that makes it a game to you, let's tee it up and play to win.

Astropig
Astropig

@taylor48 @Astropig @Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr


I'm not condescending-I'm realistic.. I think that teachers have a hard job and don't make enough money for what they do. BUT...


They support a corrupt, inefficient system because they want to someday be a "higher up" in that system.I'm just weary of the constant bashing of our public leaders by the eduacracy that has nothing more to offer than the same nostrums that got us where we are.I stand against them and if you don't like it-Get busy and change it.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@Astropig @taylor48 @Quidocetdiscit @EdUktr


I have no desire to be "higher up" in the system, and I have spent my whole life trying to change aspects of the system I feel need to be changed.  You seek change from without.  I seek change from within.   I am not sure why teachers who seek change are seen to be the "enemy" by those in the reform movement.  I suspect that most of us honestly want was is best for students even if we don't always agree on how to do it.  In my experience, however, the "reforms" I have seen put into place have done little but make it HARDER for me to do what is best for my students.  They are undermining what works, driving off the best teachers, and generally making the whole system even worse!  But when teachers try to point this out, they are accused of "whining", supporting the status quo (whatever THAT is - nothing seems to stay constant in Education for more than a year or two) and avoiding any accountability because they are all so lousy at their jobs that any accountability would just show their failures. Why are the voices of classroom teachers ignored in favor of the opinions of politicians who do not actually deal with students day in and day out?  Please explain this to me because frankly, it makes no sense!  



There are certainly issues in education that need changing - like the lack of parent accountability, social promotion, failure to address the needs of gifted students, insistence that all students be on a college track, mainstreaming students who have needs that are not met in a regular ed class, discipline issues, poor administrators, top heavy administrations, friends and family plans, etc.  Teachers are fully aware of such problems. They deal with them day in and day out, but none of the current "reforms" actually address these issues.  All they do is put more burden on classroom teachers, undermine good teaching, stress teachers and students, and lead to micromanagement by people who have no idea what the job actually entails. The charter movement is an attempt to save some of the students, but what about all the rest?  How do we help them?  The response I get from some is, to heck with them... but I am not willing to just give up on so many children, so I ask again...how do we help them?

Astropig
Astropig

@OriginalProf @Quidocetdiscit @Astropig @HollyJones @EdUktr


Agree.But I realize that you get more cooperation and agreement by positively engaging your legislator(s) than you do when you start from the position that they are stupid or evil. I've lived in a state where every elected officeholder above county sheriff was all Democrat and managed to keep lines of communication open.We had some humdinger debates,but it was never personal.


Then I read articles like this and wonder if the other side has any sense of what it is like to be attacked day to day in the media and by organized groups in concert with the media.That's  when politicians circle the wagons and retreat into their "safe" zone and only listen to people that they feel they can trust (their simpatico voters). Why is that so hard to grasp? Civility is free.